My husband and I stayed at the Four Seasons Maui in 2002 for our honeymoon, and loved it so much that we kept going back – six times between 2002 and 2006. Once our second kid was born, we had to take a Hawaii hiatus. It turned out to be seven years long. And now that I have been back, I know that it will never be that long again! As my husband said to my kids (7 and 9, who want to live at the FS Maui forever) on the way to the airport, “the problem is, it doesn’t get any better than that.” So true. I apologize in advance for the lengthy review, but I rely so much on these reviews when I am selecting a hotel, and I want to make sure I give detail that will hopefully help others make their decisions.
The best thing about the Four Seasons is the service, from beginning to end, which never wavers. Upon arrival after a long flight (is there any other kind when going to Hawaii?), we were greeted with leis for all, ginger mint lemonade, and cold towels to freshen up. We were shown to our room by the bellman (bonus – didn’t have to wait forever for our luggage to appear), who caught us up on the changes at the resort. Our room was exactly the one I had requested, and was ready for the four of us. For the kids, the sofa bed was ready with a cozy comforter and two stuffed owls. Their names were spelled out in bath sponges on the edge of the bathtub, there were kid-sized robes just for them, a birthday cupcake for my daughter (whose birthday was the day before our arrival), and two plates of ocean-themed treats as a welcome. Chocolate crinkle cookies for me and my husband, and yes, they now include the recipe!
Rooms are large, immaculately clean and beautifully decorated in a modern but comfortable style. The beds are super comfortable with top of the line linens. Pillows were perfect for me – but if they aren’t for you, you can request a different type with the FS Maui app. Some of the King rooms now have queen size pull out sofas which is great since you don’t have to get a second room if you have small children. The sofa bed was made up in the same lovely linens and the kids said it was comfortable. Plenty of space for the four of us to put our clothes away in drawers and closet, and fit the empty suitcases in the closet as well. There is a large flat screen TV (42”?), a desk and chair and two nightstands, as well as a coffee table. Each evening housekeeping came in and turned the couch into a bed, and each morning they came in and turned the bed back into a couch.
Bathrooms are huge with marble everywhere. Separate shower and large soaking tub. Separate water closet (though the pattern on the frosted glass allowing one to see inside is curious to me – kind of negated the benefit of a separate room for the toilet). Double sinks and tons of counter space. Piles of fluffy towels, lovely toiletries (no longer L’Occitane but still nice), cozy robes and slippers, and music. You can choose from several different types of music including Hawaiian. I know I am being greedy here, but if they would have the option of connecting an iPod, Pad, or Phone to the speakers that would be awesome. There is a full size hair dryer in the room as well as glasses for water, Q-Tips, etc. Pretty much everything one would need.
Housekeeping was perfect. First of all, every time we saw a member of the housekeeping staff (or really any other staff) in the hallway, we were greeted with a bright smile and “aloha!” The app came in really handy – you can request just about anything and it was done right away. We asked for cleaning and turndown to be done at a particular time each day, and it was. When we asked for laundry pickup, it was done right away. I asked to purchase slippers to take home, and they delivered them to my room, no charge.
We did laundry a few times during our stay – while laundry for adults is quite expensive, it is a steal for kids’ clothes. Ten items of kids’ clothing for $8. Same day service. And they do a better job than I do, that’s for sure. I swear, my son’s shorts had a crease in them.
We enjoyed all three restaurants at the hotel, as well as the pool. All of the restaurants have reasonably priced kids’ menus. Ferraro’s was not as good as I remembered for lunch, but excellent for dinner. The service was always very good. And of course the view is spectacular any time of day. The restaurants will get you food from another menu (for example, I ordered off the pool menu at Ferraro’s) if they don’t have something you want.
Breakfast at DUO was delicious – the buffet has pretty much anything you would want, or you can order from the menu. The kids’ buffet is cute and even toddlers can reach it (so eat the food from it at your own risk). The service for breakfast was great. On our first morning there, our server greeted my kids by their first names. They were blown away, and so was I! Yes, there are birds that hang around waiting to devour your food if you leave it for even a split second. Cover your plate with a napkin or ask for a plate cover if you plan to leave the table. We found that the birds were most aggressive earlier in the morning (presumably because they had waited all night for some crumbs to be dropped). Do watch out for bird poop on the chairs – it only happened once but I got a handful pulling my chair out. We did not have to wait in line at all for breakfast, but we were early risers. I noticed there were people waiting as it got closer to 9:00. Dinner at DUO did not go well – our kids were tired, and the service was unbelievably slow. Our server kept saying “right on!” but didn’t actually do what she said she would. After a very long wait for the food (which had obviously been sitting under the heat lamps, as the plates were all very hot), we endured another long wait for the check. After 10-15 minutes, I gave up and paid at the host stand.
The food at the pool was just OK – nothing special. I prefer a table to eating in a pool lounger anyway.
Spago was terrific. Yes, it is very expensive. But it has a great view and the food really is very good. The service is excellent, but felt a bit formal to me. You can bring the kids there, as long as they are well behaved, unless you want to get dirty looks from the honeymooners. Kids are definitely welcomed by the staff, though.
I love the spa, but as others have mentioned, it really does need an upgrade. The pros first: the robes and slippers are great, they have everything you need to shower and get ready after your treatment, and the spa staff are very nice. On the down side, the locker rooms are small, and they don’t really have any of the amenities of the spas at other five star hotels (including other FS locations). Not even a whirlpool. I don’t need over the top amenities like they have next door at the Grand Wailea, but the sore spot for me is the lack of a relaxation room. There is a coed waiting room with regular chairs and that’s it. Nowhere to relax before or after the treatment. My treatment was good, not great. I think that was my fault because I selected a treatment without thoroughly reading the description. My husband had two massages and enjoyed them both, one much more than the other. I also tried the “Inner Clarity” offering, and found it semi-interesting but definitely not worth the exorbitant amount I paid for it. Oh well, I tried something new – maybe I am just not enlightened enough to appreciate it.
It’s not a waterpark like they have next door, but even with young kids, I think that’s a good thing. My kids loved the fountain pool, it was plenty fun for them and relaxing for me. If you are an early riser you can snag a cabana before heading to breakfast – just make sure you are back within the hour. Even if you don’t get a cabana, there are always loungers available. The pool attendants are terrific, setting up loungers, making sure you have shade if you want it, etc. The poolside massage is awesome. I had a 30-minute massage and it was heaven. I actually liked it much better than the treatment I had at the spa, and wished I had signed up for longer. My 9 year old daughter got the 10 minute foot massage offered for kids, and loved hers too. We weren’t in the chairs much, but when we were we loved the hourly treats – mini muffins, fruit, etc. It was also nice to have sunscreen available, and our water cups were always full. Yes, there are kids in the fountain pool. Yes, they are splashing and having fun. If you want serenity, head to the serenity pool. Sadly, we did not get a chance to enjoy it (my husband went up just to check it out and said it is beautiful) . . . but when you have kids, serenity is a relative term, so I was happy relaxing at the main pool.
I could spend my whole life at the beach. It is beautiful. The water is clear and warm and, in the morning at least, very calm. We borrowed snorkel equipment for the kids (it is free for the first hour) and they went in right off the beach. I know there are better snorkel opportunities but we didn’t want to make a big ordeal of it, plus there had been shark sightings while we were there, so thought it better to stay closer to shore. There are small waves that are fun to jump but even smaller kids can go in without getting knocked over. The beach attendants are the best. They set up chairs and umbrellas all day long (and don’t charge for it, unlike some other resorts that shall remain nameless like the one right next door), bring water every so often, each time hiking up and down that hill, and they are super nice to boot.
Normally, I wouldn’t have a separate heading for valet, because honestly I wouldn’t really notice it. The valet guys at FS Maui are just terrific. They are the first and last point of contact when visiting the resort, and they make sure you start and end your vacation with the best service. Each time we left the resort, they were going above and beyond to help, offering directions, cold water, towels . . . they will even take your trash out of your car. When we left, they gave us cold water for the ride to the airport and little bags of jellybeans for the kids. Just so many nice touches.
KIDS FOR ALL SEASONS:
I love that the kids club is complimentary. It means the kids can stop in if they (or we) want for a couple of hours. No reservation needed. My kids liked it alright during the day (they spent a grand total of about 3 hours during the day) but really enjoyed the night time activities (which sadly do come with a charge). Both nights they played some games, ate dinner and watched a movie. One time the movie was outside on the beautiful lawn overlooking the ocean. We also spent some time in the game room, which is fun for a break from the sun. They have ping pong, pool, foosball and shuffleboard as well as a TV and I think some video games.
Concierge was great, offering up great ideas for activities and making the necessary arrangements. I do suggest walking downstairs rather than calling, as you will get more prompt service that way.
I know I have forgotten a million things (like the eyeglasses cleaning cloth housekeeping left near my glasses, the beautiful grounds, etc.), but I think you get the point by now. This is the best resort experience I have had the pleasure of experiencing, because of the beautiful location, superb facilities and amenities, and terrific staff who seem to truly want you to have a wonderful vacation.
I can’t wait to go back.
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort Maui At Wailea
- Four Seasons Resort Maui At Wailea Hotel Wailea
- Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea
- Four Seasons Wailea
- Wailea Four Seasons